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Every third breath you take comes from the ocean – or more specifically the millions of tiny plant life that live there. Our seas support billions of life forms, including humans, but they’re under threat. It is vital that we protect them.

Recognising this situation, the state of our seas is currently high on the political agenda and the Welsh Assembly have launched a survey to find out our views. They want to know how much we care about Welsh seas and how we think they should be protected. Working together, we can show just how much our seas and coastlines matter to us and we need your help to prove it.

Ben Hall, rspb-images.com 

Why we need to protect Welsh seas

The coast and waters around Wales are incredibly diverse, surprisingly beautiful and immensely important to the wildlife and people who live there. Like much of our environment however, our seas are increasingly coming under pressure from a huge range of activities including shipping, tourism, fishing, and more widely things like climate change, run-off from the land and litter.

As if saving nature wasn’t difficult enough already, our toolkit to protect the marine environment is even more limited. Consequently, what tools we do have need to be deployed effectively if they are to deliver protection for vulnerable species and habitats. 

How we can protect them

Like protected areas on land, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provide the means to prevent activities that might damage vulnerable ecosystems. Identifying and managing areas like this is one of the only tools we have towards ensuring the long term survival and resilience of our marine habitats and species. Imagine Pembrokeshire without its puffins, Anglesey without its choughs and Cardigan Bay without its dolphins - it wouldn’t be the Wales that we know and love today and these are all at risk.

The need to manage MPAs was identified as a priority work area by the last Welsh Assembly. The RSPB, working with partners, pressed this point with the new Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee and we are delighted that they are launching an inquiry into the management of MPAs across Wales. Working together with our partners in the Wales Environment Link Marine Working Group, RSPB Cymru will be providing technical evidence to this inquiry and we hope that this will help the committee in their scrutiny of the Welsh Government.

That’s not all, however. The Committee have also launched a survey for everybody and anybody to show just how much we use, appreciate and love our coasts and seas. Please fill it out today so that we can show our politicians just how much we care about our marine life, and together work towards biologically rich, clean and healthy seas.

You can find the survey link here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/protecting-welsh-seas

And you can tweet directly to the Committee about the need to have healthy seas and well-managed MPAs @SeneddCCERA.